First Published: 2012-02-01

 

Indian favourite Radio Mirchi launches in UAE

 

UAE's airwaves will receive spicy makeover with arrival of country's newest radio station, Radio Mirchi.

 

Middle East Online

By Saeed Saeed - Abu Dhabi

Radio Mirchi brand is heavyweight in India

The UAE's airwaves will receive a spicy makeover with the arrival of the country's newest radio station, Radio Mirchi.

Launched today by Abu Dhabi Media (which also owns The National) with its first broadcast at 6am, and a formal ceremony at Emirates Palace later in the day where the Bollywood star Rani Mukherjee made an appearance, Radio Mirchi's reach extends across the UAE.

While it may be a new player in the UAE, the Radio Mirchi brand (Mirchi means "chilli" in Hindi) is a heavyweight in India, with more than 40 million listeners tuning in daily for its energetic mix of Bollywood music and news .

The UAE station manager Sandeep Sud says the station, broadcasting in the Hinglish dialect favoured by south-east Asian youth and expatriates, will bring its trademark energy to the UAE in what is the brand's first foray overseas.

"Mirchi is all about injecting sunshine into our listeners' days," he says. "Our programmes are designed to be full of fun and energy, our attitude is progressive and we endeavour to offer the hottest mix of entertainment and information."

However, Sud says the UAE station will have its own flavour, with local programming hosted by a mix of home-grown and overseas talent.

"We have invested heavily in research, in order for us to fully understand the radio landscape here, and the demand for music, entertainment and news," he says.

"The brand will bring the authentic taste of Desi radio to the UAE."

The local programmes reflect the station's vibrant outlook: Mirchi Morning will feature the best in Indian music spanning a decade, in addition to Bollywood updates.

The Mid-day Mohabbat programme is geared towards homemakers as the announcer and "super-girl" Yachna dispenses quick-fix housing solutions for the home in addition to playing Bollywood hits from the 1990s and spouting trivia.

The Bumper to Bumper programme is in the afternoon drive time slot and will be packed with Bollywood tunes and world news, while Purani Jeans is a late evening broadcast celebrating Bollywood's golden era.

The Purani Jeans host Farhad Hussein says the station's announcers were excited at the prospect of interacting with new listeners.

"We are aiming to be their favourite radio station," he says.

While his show contains Hindlish interviews and trivia, he is confident classic Bollywood tunes could lure Emiratis, citing the growing popularity of Bollywood films.

"Bollywood has no borders. It's as popular in the rest of the subcontinent as it is in India. And my show is about that part of Indian cinema that is best loved - the classics and the evergreen hits," he says.

"I am hoping that my show will have a huge following across many different communities in the UAE."

Radio Mirchi can be heard on 97.3FM for Abu Dhabi, 88.8FM for Dubai and the northern emirates, and 95.6FM for Al Ain listeners.

The National

 

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey’s Syria offensive

Washington probes Hezbollah ‘narcoterrorism’

Morocco's king appoints five new ministers

Pence pledges US embassy move by end of 2019 on Jerusalem trip

Iranian woman skydiver looks to break down stereotypes

Turkey arrests dozens accused of ‘terror propaganda’

Russia calls for diplomatic solution to Yemen conflict

Russia invites Kurds to join Syria peace process

Turkey shells Kurdish targets in northern Syria

Closer look at pro-Ankara rebels amassing around Afrin

Pence set for Palestinian snub

Abbas to ask EU to recognise Palestinian state

Saudi-led coalition to give $1.5 bln in Yemen aid

Mattis: Turkey gave US advance warning on Syria operation

Yemen releases budget for first time in three years

Saudi calls for cooperation between OPEC, non-OPEC countries

France presses Turkey to end offensive against Kurds

The changing faces of al-Qaeda in Syria

Kurdish militia fire rockets at Turkish town

Moroccans wary depreciation of dirham could raise cost of living, despite benefits

Deserted streets, terrified civilians after Turkey attacks Afrin

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer

Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Sudan clamps down on journalists covering bread protests

Tribal feuds spread fear in Iraq's Basra

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem